Women officials of the Turkish Diyanet: Gendered transformations and predicaments of empowerment?

2021-01-01
The Presidency of Religious Affairs (the Diyanet) is a unique bureaucratic structure authorized to address the religious service needs of citizens in Turkey’s secular system. For a long time, it was characterized by under-representation of women in its ranks. The longstanding quest of educated religious women for recognition of their expertise and integration into this institution coincided with a policy reorientation in the early 2000s, to expand the Diyanet’s appeal for women through its enlightenment and educational functions. Under the Justice and Development Party (AKP) governments, the issue of gender disparity has been addressed through a new strategy of increasingly recruiting women graduates from Theology faculties. However, despite a ‘feminization’ process undertaken via the pro-women reforms of its organizational structure, the Diyanet’s institutional and political-ideological limitations are intertwined with prevailing gender norms and patriarchal conventions. This article inquires into the gendered dynamics and predicaments that have constrained the status and roles of its women officials and impacted their empowerment prospects. Nevertheless, as women have started to exercise religious authority with men in the Diyanet’s enduring male-dominated structure, the recognition for their expertise, professional commitment, and the potential impact of their work have reinforced the social significance of women’s roles.
Asian Journal of Women's Studies

Suggestions

Women and ideology: Representations of women in religious and secular Turkish media
Hortacsu, N; Erturk, EM (Wiley, 2003-10-01)
The present research examined representations of women in Turkish religious and secular daily newspapers. Based on social identity theory, it was predicted that religious and secular newspapers would differ with respect to evaluative references to mother/homemaker, career woman, and vamp subtypes. Secular and religious newspapers were examined every other day for a month. Analyses reveal that secular newspapers included higher proportions of positive references to the career woman and vamp subtypes than did...
Georgian Path to Secularism A Case of 'Cultural Defense'
Aydıngün, Ayşegül; Keskin, Serhat; Gürsoy Erdenay, Hazar Ege (2021-10-01)
This article intends to understand the dynamics and particularities of the Georgian path to secularism by analyzing whether equal respect for all religions and freedom of conscience -principle of secularism- are fully realized in post-Soviet Georgia and whether state's neutrality towards minority religions and church-state separation -operative modes of secularism- is truly secured. Employing the data obtained from interviews conducted in Tbilisi and Batumi in 2015-2017 and the related literature, it inquir...
The Status of pious women in Sunni Islam: a study on the public religious practices of women in Ankara
Uzar Özdemir, Figen; Saktanber, Ayşe Nur; Department of Sociology (2017)
The aim of this dissertation is to demonstrate how pious women’s undertaking of public Islamic practices shapes their social status within the private domains such as their families and neighborhoods and public spaces of the mosque and Quran courses in urban Ankara in contemporary Turkey. I conducted an ethnographic field study in the Quran courses in three districts of Ankara, namely Bahçelievler, Çukurambar and Sincan which are middle, upper middle and lower middle class respectively. This study focuses o...
The New ‘ideology’ of secularism in Turkey: a critical inquiry
Ercan, Damla; Bodirsky, Katharina; Department of Sociology (2016)
This thesis aims to analyse the new interpretation of secularism, which was adopted by the Constitutional Court of Turkey and thus become integrated into ‘the state’ in 2012. Having long been recognized with its controversial interpretation of secularism, allegedly being hostile towards religion, the Court changed its interpretation by redefining secularism with an emphasis on ‘freedom’ of religion. This study intends to critically engage with this shift manifested in a strategic ‘state’ institution by rega...
Consolidation of neoliberalism through political islam and its limits: The case of Turkey
Uzgoren, Elif (Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi (Ankara, Turkey), 2018-12)
The Justice and Development Party (JDP) carries the neoliberal programme with a moderate form of Islam in Turkey since 2002 elections. This article aims to present a political economy reading of Turkey’s state-society formation historically through embarking on Gramscian historical materialism. It then questions how institutionalist and critical political economy literature debate the JDP rule. I shall argue that while the institutionalist political economy literature fails to explicate the JDP rule, c...
Citation Formats
C. Aslan Akman, “Women officials of the Turkish Diyanet: Gendered transformations and predicaments of empowerment?,” Asian Journal of Women’s Studies, pp. 0–0, 2021, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?partnerID=HzOxMe3b&scp=85107512121&origin=inward.